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Before your stay

We’ll send you a pre-admission letter with the date you need to come to hospital.

What will my pre-admission letter include?

The letter will tell you where to go and what time to arrive. It may also include important information about avoiding food and drink if you’re having an operation. 

We’ll also send you a printed patient advice sheet about your treatment or procedure.

Eating and drinking before your operation

You must follow these instructions carefully. If you don’t we may need to cancel your operation.

Morning surgery

You must have a good meal the evening before surgery. Don’t eat food after midnight before the morning of your surgery.

Drink clear fluids like water, tea/coffee (no milk) or diluted juice (not fizzy) up to 6am.

Afternoon surgery

You can eat a light breakfast, for example, a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast with tea/coffee (with milk) before 7.30am.

Drink clear fluids like water, tea/coffee (no milk) or diluted juice (not fizzy) up to 11 am.

Local anaesthetic with no sedation

Eat and drink as normal before your admission.

If the exact time of your surgery is not known or your surgery is delayed nursing staff will inform you about eating and drinking.

If you have dietary requirements or need additional support during your stay

You can tell us about these before your stay. You may also have a disability or need an interpreter during your stay.

Contact the ward you’ll be staying on. You’ll find their contact details in your pre-admission letter or search for the ward.

We offer additional support to unpaid family carers while you’re in hospital. Call Carers Bucks on 0300 777 2722 or visit their website for information and advice.

What to bring with you

You’ll need to bring some paperwork with you including: 

  • your pre-admission letter, and any relevant paperwork from the hospital or your GP 
  • next of kin details 
  • contact details for relatives/carers and your transport home
  • GP address and phone number.  

You’ll also need:

  • any medication you’re taking in their original packaging including over the counter medicines, tablets and inhalers. Tell your nurse if you’re taking controlled medication
  • night clothes including non-slip slippers and a dressing gown 
  • additional clothing appropriate for the time of year, for example, socks and a jumper or cardigan
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, soap, tissues, brush/comb, shaving kit, cosmetics) 
  • hearing aids, dentures, glasses or contact lenses including solution
  • a CPAP machine or a mandibular splint if you have obstructive sleep apnoea.

You may also want to bring books or magazines, writing materials and a small amount of cash if you want to buy anything from the hospital shop or ward trolley such as a newspaper. 

Bring your mobile phone and charger with you but please bring a set of headphones so that you don’t disturb other patients. 

Label your items clearly with your name using a marker or name labels. 

What not to bring

Leave valuable items at home including large sums of cash. We don’t have anywhere to lock items away securely.

We can only accept responsibility for the loss or damage to patient property if you’ve handed it to a member of staff for safekeeping and have been given a receipt. 

Don’t bring cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes or vapes. Smoking is not allowed on hospital premises.

Arranging transport to and from hospital

If you need hospital transport you must arrange this in advance. It should’ve been discussed at your pre op appointment.

If your procedure involves a local anaesthetic with sedation, or you’re having major surgery, you must not drive home yourself. Make arrangements for a friend or relative to collect you from hospital.

Changes in your health before your operation

Contact the ward you’ll be staying on if you:

  • become unwell
  • are admitted to hospital for a different reason whilst waiting for your operation.

Before you leave home to travel to the hospital

You must:

  • have a bath/shower on the morning of your admission or the night before
  • remove all jewellery and body piercings. Tell us if you can’t. You don’t have to remove your wedding ring, but we’ll cover it with tape when you arrive
  • remove all make-up. If your surgery is on your arm or leg, remove any nail varnish and jewellery/rings from that limb.  You can leave acrylic nails on but check this with nursing staff.